The Lookout

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) once had a bright future in front of him, but a car accident threw his life into a downward spiral. The accident caused some brain damage, leaving him unable to process his emotions and memories properly. Now he struggles to not only regain some semblance of a normal life, but to make it through each day. As he can’t go back to hockey, where he was a rising star, he takes what job he can, working as a janitor at a bank. When an old friend, Gary (Matthew Goode) returns into his life however, the depression lifts and Chris starts to be optimistic again. The two have fun together, enough that Chris feels like he is closer to normal, so he takes some risks. But when Gary reveals he has plans beyond just fun on the weekends, will Chris be pulled into his plot?

As I based my expectations on the film’s marketing campaign, I figured The Lookout would be a dark crime thriller. As it turns out, that is true to an extent, but by and large, this is more of a character driven drama. I have never been a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so when I found out he was the lead here, I didn’t have high hopes. His performance didn’t win me over, but it was a step above his standard, which is at least a step in the right direction. The role plays to his strengths and requires a good deal of silence, so he handles it well enough. The story is sharp at first, with well crafted characters that interact in realistic ways, then The Lookout shifts into another gear. I do think the film loses a step when it turns into a crime thriller of sorts, as it then relies on cliches and of course, twists. But it all comes back as the film wraps up the loose ends, so I won’t complain. The Lookout is no masterpiece, but its a solid watch and is a recommended rental.

Video: How does it look?

The Lookout is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a great visual treatment from Miramax, as the print is very clean and the image has a lot of depth. The film’s natural color scheme is well presented, with bright and accurate hues throughout, while flesh tones remain natural at all times. The black levels are sharp and provide excellent contrast, so no detail is lost in this one. As I said, this is just a superb visual effort from Miramax.

Audio: How does it sound?

The soundtrack here is more than solid, but lacks the punch and presence I expected it to possess. The music sounds good, with ample depth, but aside from that, the surround presence is minimal. The rear channels spark in from time to time, but not too often and when they do, the result isn’t too memorable. This does not ruin the experience, but with such a tense, on edge film, I think a more active soundtrack would add to the experience. The dialogue is pretty smooth however, with no muffled or distorted vocals in the slightest. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as subtitles in French and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes an audio commentary with director Scott Frank and director of photography Alar Kivilo, which proves to be a decent listen. Frank spends time on the writing process, the cast, and the actual production, while Kivilo is more technical, but still insightful. Not a constant stream of cinematic wisdom, but a solid track. There are also two featurettes, but both are brief and provide little worthwhile substance.

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